Relationship between parents’ occupational characteristics and untreated dental caries in offspring: A population-based study of data from the Korean national health and nutrition examination survey, 2008-2015

Sung Shil Lim, Byurira Kim, Jin Ha Yoon, Je Seon Song, Eun Cheol Park, Sung In Jang

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Objectives We investigated the association between parents’ occupational characteristics and untreated dental caries in their children. Methods We analyzed the data of 4764 and 5862 children merged with data of their mothers and fathers, respectively, derived from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2008-2015. Dentists assessed untreated dental caries, and occupational characteristics were self-reported. The associations between untreated dental caries in children and their parents’ occupational characteristics were assessed with logistic regression analysis. Results The prevalence of untreated dental caries was 18.58% and 16.39% in the motherand father-matched data, respectively. Compared to children whose mothers worked regular hours, those whose mothers worked overtime had increased odds of untreated dental caries [odds ratio (OR) 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.39]. Children of female self-employed workers/employers/unpaid family workers had higher odds of untreated dental caries than those of wage earners (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.00-1.39). The OR of untreated dental caries was higher among children with shift-working parents than those whose parents worked daytime hours (mother: OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.11-1.51; father: OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.18-1.58). Conclusions The children of non-white-collar workers, non-wage earners, and workers working overtime or doing shift work had higher odds of untreated dental caries. The effects of parental occupational characteristics on untreated dental caries differed by sex (mother versus father). Public health programs targeting the prevention of dental caries among children should consider parental occupational characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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